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NBA Draft Profile: CJ Massinburg has the grit to make an NBA roster

He may not hear his name on Thursday, but he has legit NBA aspirations.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Arizona State vs Buffalo Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

CJ Massinburg was the floor general behind a set of notable Buffalo wins: first against Arizona in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, then against West Virginia, Syracuse and Arizona State in 2019. Massinburg finished as the second-leading scorer in Buffalo history with over 1,900 points, and is partially responsible for the Bulls emergence among the mid-major elite.

Four years ago, Massinburg nearly slipped through the cracks and landed in junior college, mainly because the only Division I interest he had was from Prairie View A&M and former Buffalo coach Nate Oats. Signing Massinburg proved to be a game-changer for Buffalo as he’s been the Bulls’ anchor for the past four years.

Massinburg averaged double-figures in scoring all four years at Buffalo and concluded his time with a senior campaign that included a stat line of 18.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He made 46 percent of his field goals and 39.9 percent of his three-pointers, making him a threat from downtown.

Pre-Draft Measurements

Let’s compare Massinburg’s measurables to other shooting guards of similar standing.

CJ Massinburg Measurables

Player Height Weight
Player Height Weight
Tyus Battle (Syracuse) 6'6 205
Bryce Brown (Auburn) 6'3 198
Kalob Ledoux (Louisiana Tech) 6'3 215
Kyle Guy (Virginia) 6'2 175

Strengths

Three-point shooting

Massinburg showed glimpses of stardom in college basketball and a ridiculous knack for heating up from behind the arc. Just look at his 43-point outburst in Morgantown against West Virginia. Massinburg hit nine (!) threes and consistently kept Buffalo in the game, even when the Mountaineers threatened to pull away. This overtime win is a testament to Massinburg’s high basketball IQ and grit.

Proven leader

Look no further than Buffalo’s First Round game against Arizona State. Massinburg crushed any Sun Devil hope at another tournament game because of his presence on both sides of the ball. His ability to catch and shoot a three-pointer is a game-changer and he was counted on to score when needed. Don’t you dare overlook Massinburg.

Weaknesses:

Size and speed

Massinburg’s lack of size and speed have caused some to worry about how his defense will translate to the next level. For example in Buffalo’s tournament game against Texas Tech, he got blown over by bigger guys such as Tech’s Jarrett Culver. With multiple larger and strong-willed guards for any given NBA team, Massinburg will need to prove he can hang with anyone, even those significantly bigger than him. In Buffalo’s losses, Massinburg has struggled to stay relevant as a rebounder.

Projection:

An NBA team will most definitely take a chance on Massinburg, but it will probably come as an undrafted free agent. His size and speed will be too much of a concern to look over, but don’t get it twisted: He has real potential. Massinburg has now worked out with several teams, including the 76ers, Hornets, Mavericks, and Cavs, and there’s no doubt each team on this list (and those not included) could benefit from a tough-minded sharpshooter, and one with just a little chip on his shoulder.